- Last Updated on 27 March 2013
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THE award-winning human rights lawyer, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Board member and former Law Society of Zimbabwe President, Beatrice Mtetwa vowed in Harare to soldier on in defending the constitutional rights of her clients on Tuesday March 26, 2013.
Mtetwa confirmed her resolve and unwavering determination to Civil society leaders, academics, prominent human rights Lawyers and political activists who attended the launch of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), where she was the Guest of Honour.
"I promise that I will definitely go an extra mile to represent you when you are arrested, € Mtetwa said.
Mtetwa was released on bail on Monday. March 25 after spending 8 days behind bars by High Court Judge Justice Joseph Musakwa. In announcing the favourable bail ruling, the Judge stated that the former Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) President was tenacious in her pursuit to attain justice for her clients.
Mtetwa took the opportunity to respond to the character-assasinating vitriol written against her in the State controlled media, while she was in prison. Responding specifically to the negative things written about her by the likes of Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) Tsholotsho legislator and Politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, Mtetwa said:
"A lot of people have been commenting about Jonathan Moyo's article in the Sunday Mail. Apart from the fact that he got a whole lot of things wrong about what happened between me and the police, he even got the place where it happened completely wrong, € Mtetwa said.
However the charismatic lawyer, who instead of being vindictive radiated democratic tolerance, said it was Moyo's right to write whatever he wants and belong to the Zanu-PF party.
"My view is that I may absolutely not like what Jonathan is saying in that article. I am not talking about the misrepresentation of facts, I am not talking about the lies, I am just talking about him being able to write that article. I believe he is entitled to write that article. I believe he is entitled to be a member of ZANU PF what I completely disagree with is him denying hat I disagree with is denying other people the right to do exactly the same thing in their own political formations, € Mtetwa said.
The Guest of Honour warned that a difficult road was ahead for the newly born Institute in the context of the crackdown on non-governmental organisations and joked with ZDI officials, making the audience laugh along in her speech.
"We will welcome you because this Institution is a potential client for us. €
Meanwhile, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) spokesperson, Mr. Thabani Nyoni and Bulawayo Agenda (BA) Director, commented on the sustained negative publicity in the State media apparently meant to stir public opinion against Beatrice Mtetwa and High Court Judge Justice Charles Hungwe.
Nyoni also dismissed the allegations carried in The Herald newspaper on Wednesday March 27, 2013 insinuating his non-governmental organisation; Bulawayo Agenda was pursuing party politics in the MDC-T stable.
"As we prepare for what are likely to be watershed elections. We are concerned that various institutions including the state media are being used by partisan state security agents to peddle lies and falsehoods as well as hate speech aimed at justifying violence, illegal arrests on citizens and raids on civic groups. €
Nyoni said there was fear in Zanu-PF that civic groups are succeeding in democratising the country and the negative publicity could be an election strategy to criminalise them and close the political space ahead of the harmonised elections in 2013.